It was the talk of the wrestling world last week as puzzled fans scratched their heads in astonishment, confusion, bewilderment and frustration after the Hell in a Cell Universal Championship match ended in a no contest. The finish, which resulted in AEW, “bullshit” and “refunds” chants, was more than questionable and left fans wondering what exactly happened to cause the no contest result. By examining some other reported WWE booking plans, there might be an answer.
And not WWE’s kayfabe answer of the match ending via referee stoppage due to the ref’s fear that The Fiend was in a position unable to protect himself and Seth Rollins was being relentless in his constant barrage of increasingly dangerous attacks with foreign objects
Booking Conundrum Possible Reason Behind Hell in a Cell Finish
But in order to understand the finish, we first have to look at the booking of the match. After all these weeks, through house shows, through WWE television, and even back to WWE’s last PPV, we saw Bray Wyatt go over so strong. But in the match, it was Rollins who looked more the part, only for Wyatt to take over at the end, creating the moment that ended in the referee stoppage. There was a need to keep the Fiend strong, perhaps akin to the way Finn Balor‘s Demon persona is always protected.
In a meeting held prior to last week’s Raw, it seemed that WWE realized they had booked themselves into a corner. If Wyatt were to have become champion, along with Brock Lesnar, who had long been rumored to win the title on the debut episode of Smackdown on FOX, which he did in fact do, it would set up the likely Survivor Series champion vs champion match of Lesnar vs Wyatt. But that match was problematic because with the Fiend and the Beast looking to be the most protected members of either roster, it would have been hard for WWE to book a finish where either man lost. Some scenarios included: Brock just not wrestling at the pay per view, do the match and come up with a finish that would not have a winner, or just do the match.
So as a result, WWE was reportedly not interested in doing the champion vs champion match at Survivor Series. Discussions were ongoing for who both champions would face. Had Wyatt won the title, one of the names at the top of that list was Braun Strowman, an angle they at least initially built during the conclusion of Raw that saw Bray Wyatt attack Braun Strowman. Interestingly enough, both men are now part of Smackdown’s roster, meaning that match between the two could still very well happen in the near future.
Unfortunately, what resulted from this booking conundrum was the booking of the match between Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt at Hell In A Cell. With Wyatt on Smackdown and Rollins most likely staying on Raw, it would seem the Hell in a Cell finish marks an unsatisfying ending to what could have been a great rivalry. While they could potentially extend the program with the two them by having a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the TLC pay per view right after Survivor Series, it seems unlikely given FOX and USA now have separate rosters with separate storylines. But stranger things have happened when it comes to the WWE Draft. Maybe Wyatt gets drafted back to Raw, or Rollins gets drafted to Smackdown.
Whatever happens after Monday’s Raw is, as always, card subject to change.
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